BROOKPORT — The Brookport City council was recently presented with an audit report and approved new hires and alderman appointments.

Jeff Schroeder presented the auditor’s report, which consists of two parts — the financial statement and government compliance. The financial statement with internal controls recognizes revenues and expenses.

Schroeder said those items “all were fairly stated and goes over and above what is required.”

The second report reflecting government standards showed no noncompliance and the auditor had no further recommendations.

It was noted that as in many small towns, the general fund did not meet the recommendation of the Government Financial Office Association to have 22% minimum in the account for expected expenses. Brookport only had 2%, according to Schroeder.

Only a few small adjustments were suggested. Schroeder felt the audit went well and appreciated the help he received from the clerk and treasurer.

After a closed session, the council approved Aaron Tucker as alderman in Ward 2 and Richard Douglas in Ward 3. There is now a full council city.

Tucker replaces Lori Klotz and Douglas fills a position that has been open a long time.

Lee Wetherington was hired as a new full time maintenance worker. He is a longtime resident.

Josh Shepherd, Cody Harris and Paul Martin were all approved for the position of volunteer firefighters. Each has had prior experience.

The paying of bills totaling $66,025.35 was approved by a 3-2 vote. Two alderman felt they did not have the financial report in time to review the bills and were hesitant to give approval.

Treasurer Alison Boyt did not have a report since the bank statements had only arrived that morning, but indicated reconciliation would be done by the end of the week.

Fire Chief Bill Copley reported that the city’s first responder license has been extended for another two years. He has lost four volunteer members but had three applicants for approval.

Copley announced the city’s ISO rating has improved from a 9 to a 6. He is hoping that once the water project is completed the rating will go to a 5. Anything above 5 would require the town to have full- time emergency personnel. Homeowners should check their fire insurance premium to see if it has been reduced.

Scott McDonald gave the police report that consisted of 42 tickets, five arrests and four DUIs. Both police cars have repairs to be made and he is working on quotes. The officers do regular maintenance of oil changes but mechanical work needs skilled repairs. A short discussion was held on looking into police car lease arrangements since the city needs at least one reliable vehicle.

Unanimous approval was given to release grant payments of $229,814.97 to MidWest Petroleum for water system construction, and $13,396.10 to Brown and Roberts Engineering for observation fees.

Approval also was given to making payment of $2,782 to Holcomb Foundation Engineering for preliminary plans of a new maintenance building out of the reinstated DCEO grant. The building will house the large equipment now exposed to the elements.

Brookport intends to apply for the Strong Community Program Grant which will help clean up derelict residential properties. There is a $300 fee for Southern Five to make the grant application which is a 100% grant. The fact that the city has already cleaned several properties will help in the application.

After discussion on the IDNR boat ramp grant which would be reimbursed after conclusion of the project, it was decided not to apply due to startup costs and not having funds available to do the work.

Approval was given for Lori Klotz to take the $100 online city clerk class. Three lights were approved for the fire department building since the current lights are obsolete and bulbs are no longer made. The cost would be $300.

The city is accepting bids for trash collection. The current contract with Bulldog is up Jan. 30, 2021.

Discussion was held on replacing some meters within the city and at the dam. The city has not been able to read the meter at Dam 52 for a year due to locked gates and condensation.

The city will start issuing citations for property violations of un-mowed grass and other infractions so homeowners are asked to keep their properties up. There is an area that the city owns which is an unused alley that may have utility lines. The city has the obligation to maintain utility right-of-way and once the lines are marked, the area can be cleared of trees.

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